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Not liking the experience at my agency


I have just completed my first year as an Account Coordinator at a well known mid-size agency. I feel that my time with this agency is coming to an end and I don’t know what to do next. After the things I have seen happen around me (backstabbing, gossiping, high turnover etc.) I am not entirely sure that I want to continue in the business. I have come to understand that apparently the words “loyalty” and “dedication” do not mean much in the agency world and that you are always at the mercy of every whim your client may have, which I find truly disappointing. Is it like this at all agencies? Can I expect more of the same wherever I go? I am in a state of limbo at the moment in terms of my plans for the future. I always thought that I wanted to work in advertising and that agencies were the place to be but now, I am not so sure. Hopefully, with all of the years of experience between you two, you can offer some words of advice… Thank you. very much.

intro Not liking the experience at my agencyDon’t bail yet. Not all agencies are created equal; don’t judge all agencies based on your experience at one. It’s true you’re experiencing a stereotype and some other places offer more of same. But you should be able to get a sense of the culture of other places you might interview, through the interview process itself (ask about the culture. Share your unhappiness with the idea of having another experience like the current one), and through employees of the places you interview at. Everybody knows everybody in advertising; you’re bound to have a connection to someone who can give you the real story. Loyalty and dedication will always mean a great deal to any business. Not all agencies cave so quickly to client “whims”—better places have healthy relationships with their clients and debate the right course of action. An intelligent case for doing the right thing can’t be resented. Too many people, both creatives and account people, are reticent to simply have a discussion and are ready to take the order rather than deal with the discomfort/fear. And you can be the one, wherever you work, to follow your own good instincts when dealing with clients that seem to want the wrong thing. Have a backbone and you’ll be admired by most. Especially creative people.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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